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BOOKS 1 & 2

Craig Sheppard, piano

In the April, 2011, issue of London’s International Record Review of Sheppard’s most recent CD releases, The Last Three Piano Sonatas by Franz Schubert, Robert Matthew-Walker noted: ”It was Hans Keller who said that all great artists are, by virtue of what they do, also great teachers, and those who have heard Sheppard’s recent recording on the Roméo label – particularly the complete Beethoven sonatas and the Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues, will know the truth of that statement… The City of Seattle and the students at its University are indeed fortunate to have him in their midst.”

Il Penseroso
2 CD Set Available at: Amazon

To celebrate Franz Liszt’s 200th birthday on October 2011, Craig Sheppard performed the first two books of Les Années de Pèlerinage in Seattle, the recording heard on the present release, and he will also perform these Liszt masterpieces in New Delhi, and Auckland in the coming months.

Bryce Morrison, in earlier review of Sheppard's traversal of the Beethoven sonatas in Gramophone magazine, said: "On record, there are few (performances) more piquantly characterized or, at their finest, more deeply sensitive to the darker recesses of Beethoven's towering imagination."

Peter Cossé, Germany's foremost piano critic, had this to say about Sheppard's Bach: "Sheppard's technique, in all its elasticity , confirms a musician who always puts these means at the service of composer. Sheppard's Bach is learned, and in every respect well informed as to performance practices of the day. Yet, he never forces his views on the listener, but rather gives the listener sufficient breathing space in which to store the memories."

Following Sheppard's appearance at the 210 Minnesota Beethoven Festival, the reviewer exclaimed: "With the (solo) recitals of Yo-Yo Ma and Craig Sheppard, the festival is off to a great start! Ludwig van Beethoven would have loved pianist Craig Sheppard!"

Sheppard's recital debut at the Berlin Philharmonic, featuring the 24 Chopin Preludes and Bach's Goldberg Variations, caused the critic from Die Welt to enthuse: "The pianist revealed himself as an intimate connoisseur of Bach's soul.'